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|Year and Month||February 2010|
|Number of Days||Four days – 25.02.2010 (Thursday) to 28.02.2010 (Sunday)|
5 Adults( 3 Males and 2 Females)
|Accommodation||Its a long story|
|Transport||Diesel driven car|
|Weather||Clear and Sunny|
|Route||Colombo -> Kurunegala -> Dambulla(A9) -> Maradankadawala -> Mihinthale -> Rambewa -> Medawachchiya -> Vavunia -> Omantai -> Kilinochchi -> Jaffna|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
We started from Colombo around 11.00 pm and traveled along Kandy Road passing Warakapola, Kurunegala, Galewela and entering to A9 at Dambulla.
Proceeding through Maradankadawala, Mihinthale and Rambewa was uneventful except unusually heavy traffic towards Jaffna.
We reached Medawachchiya by 4.00 am. From Medawachchiya to Vavunia, the road condition is not good mainly due to construction work. The stretch is only 26 km but it took nearly 1 ½ hours as the traffic is heavy and our car could not proceed at the same phase with majority of busses which came from all parts of the country.
We reached Vavuniya by 5.30 am and proceeded straight to Omantai Army Check Point.By that time, dawn was arriving and we were surrounded by lot of vehicles going towards the same destination.
At Omantai, we were asked to record the details of the vehicle and the driver. One army personnel came to the car and had a casual and very friendly chat with us to assure we are harmless people from South. No checking was done but he issued us a tag indicating that necessary checking was done. This tag was collected back at the other end of the check point.From there onwards we were free to travel to Jaffna.
By this time dawn was rapidly coming and we experienced a unique situation of a thick mist!!!!!!!
Imagine mist in Jaffna. We were so excited, stopped the car and came out to enjoy it. Sure it was mist just like in Horton Plains, wet, thick and comforting.
Next main town is Kilinochchi. On our way towards Kilinochchi, we saw the tank destroyed by Hasalaka Gamini which is an exhibit along the road.
When we visited Jaffna during peace Talks, this stretch was under the control of LTTE and we were compelled to see our failures of war in the form of destroyed armored cars, captured trucks etc. filed along the road. We saw a mock auction of an army truck at Kilinochchi, a dramatic event staged solely for the people who were traveling from South.
Now all such things are cleared and we see friendly and smiling faces all around.
Lumbini Vihara at Kilinochchi has basic toilet facilities but only if the need is urgent.!!!!
From Kilinochci, it was a straight run to Jaffna through Paranthan, Elephant Pass and Chavakachcheri.
We reached Jaffna by 8.00 am.
From Colombo we have already booked a family room at YMCA which is meant for 9 individuals at the rate of Rs.200 per head. However when we went there we found a room with nine beds without any attached bathroom facilities and the access to the room is through a line of common toilets!!!!!!. We were shocked to hear that it is luxury in Jaffna.
We felt like slapped in the face and immediately cancelled the booking at a cost of reduction of 25%. (They tried to pay us 25% only and we had to argue again to get 75%). So better part of the day was spent to find a place to sleep at night.
In this exercise we went to each and every hotel, lodge, guest house and houses on rent to find all were booked for the week end. Even half constructed houses were offered to us at the rate of Rs.5000 per day. One family room at Pilleiyan Rest was offered for Rs.8,250 per day (Only the room) but we are not that rich.
At the point of coming back, we found one room bit away from town, at Rs.2000 without attached bathroom.
We reserved that and continued on our trip.
As the day is already spoilt, we went straight to Naga Viharaya.
After Naga Vihara, we rushed to see Kadurugoda Viharaya (Kantharodai ruins) .You have to proceed through Jaffna – KKS road up to Chunnakam Junction, turn left and proceed another 3 kilometers to reach this wonderful place.
It consists of 60 miniature dagobas crammed into a tiny area of 1 hectare. Largest one is only about 4 meters in diameter. They are believed to contain relics of 65 Arahath Bikkus. Discovered in 1916, they are thought to be over 2000 years old.
At the end of first day, we came to settle down in a single room at one corner of a big hall which was crammed with people. Only two toilets and one tank for bathing/washing were available for all and it was real fun!!!!!!!
For dinner, we had a delicacy called Milk Hoppers which is not available in South.
During the night, a friend called to say that he was able to reserve a more respectable room at Uthayan Guest House, so we rushed early morning to capture the lucky break.
It is really a good place and the Manager is Sinhala speaking youth named Kokulan.
The rates are reasonable. Service is very friendly. You can contact Kokilan via 077 8942018. The Gueast House belongs to the owner of Udayan newspaper.
After a meager breakfast in Jaffna we proceeded through KKS road for a distance of 10 Km, turn left at Tellapalai Junction, proceeded another 5 Km , turn right and proceeded another 5 Km to Keeramalai.
Keeramalai is famous for Naguleswraswamy Temple (Shiva Kovil) and Keeramalai ponds which are believed to contain water that can fertile childless women. There are two ponds for men and women.
A bath in the pond followed by a Shiva Pooja at the Temple is the prescribed procedure for women who seek relief.
Ponds are fed by springs and spilled water goes to the sea through a drain. During the high tide, sea water comes into the ponds in the same manner.
We saw two beautiful sea eels (Name may be incorrect) playing in the drain among other fishes.
From Keeramalai, it is only another few Kilometers to Dambakola Patuna where Sangamitta Therani landed. Navy has constructed a nice Sthoopa on this spot within 65 days.
Just before you reach this sacred place of worship, you can see a slaughter house on the beach where Maduwa Fish are slaughtered, stripped and dried. It is really disgusting.
The beach near the Sthoopa is really beautiful with shallow water, sea plans and fish. You can walk a long distance without going to knee deep.
From Dambakola Patuna, we traveled back to Panditirippu Junction (5 Km), turned right to reach Mathakalthurai (3 – 4 km) turn left and traveled to Punnaalai (10 -12 Km).
From Punnaalai, there is a 4 Km long roadway constructed to reach Karaitivu Island. This roadway is being broaden now. It was a novel and exiting experience for us to travel from mainland to an island on a road.
Karainagar is the main town in Karaitivu Island. Before reaching the town, we turned right and traveled several kilometers to reach one of the loveliest beaches in the country, Casurina Beach. I find no words to describe this finest gift of nature.
We had a few hours bath there with a gathering and friendly crowd.
Afterwards, we came back to the main road, went through Karainagar towards Thankodai and turned right to a byroad to find old light house. This stretch was gruesome as we saw lot of houses but not people. We met only one old farmer who gave us directions to the light house.
The light house too is long abandoned. However we saw several youths who were doing something inside the lighthouse and got panicky when we arrived out of blue.
After coming back to the main road, we traveled to the end of the island (Kalapoomy). From this point, there is a ferry service to Kayts Island. However the ferry cannot accommodate a vehicle, otherwise it would have been a nice run to Jaffna through Kayts Island.
Our next destination was Point Pedro. Although there is a shorter way along the topmost beach through Keeramalai, KKS and Valvettiturai, the road is closed being high security zone. (Palali is along this road). So we had to come back to Jaffna town and then proceed to Point Pedro.
At Point Pedro, we saw Light House from a distance (Again high security).
From Point Pedro we tried to go to Manelkadu sand dunes but at the last check point, police officers told that the location is not motorable and have to walk 2 Km. Sun was blazing and our party consisted of two ladies, hence it was postponed.
Please do not miss this place and go prepared. This is the place where the last scene of Welikatara film was shot. It is said to be like a desert.
After this futile attempt, we came back towards Point Pedro and traveled towards Vetvettiturai. Somewhere between these towns, the northern point of the longest line of the island is situated. It is called “Kodi Gaha”.
From Vetvettiturai, we came towards Jaffna to reach Puttur (10 -12 Km). Before Puttur, we got the directions from Army personnel to go to Nilavarai Bottomless Well at Nawathkiri.
This well has a legend. When Rama was going back after the war, Seetha felt thirsty and there was no water available. So Rama sent an arrow to the earth and there a bottomless well was born.
According to the people around, 40 feet of the well contain fresh water and from there downwards, water is salty. According to them the well is connected to Keeramalai Ponds we saw earlier. Some said that fresh water is coming from an underground tunnel from Matale!!!!
On our way back to Jaffna, we visited Kopai LTTE Cemetery. By that time sun was down and the environment was so gloomy.
By the time we came to the new place of stay, it was brimming with people. Most of them have gone towards Naagadeepa and returned back without visiting it as there was a huge crowd.
So we started around 4.00 am to go to Nagadeepa. A friend of my son, who is a navy officer joined us from Mandaitivu Island. The road from Jaffna goes through lagoon passing islands of Mandaitivu, Kayts and Punkudutivu. From Punkudutivu, you have to get the ferry to go to Nagadeepa (Nainativu.).
By the time we reached there, the queue to ferry was stretched for more than 2 kilometers. It was a thick column of people who came from all over the country and were in the queue from previous day.
After some heated arguments with people and police officers, our navy friend was able to board us on the roof of a ferry.
There is another small temple site to the middle of the Island which is said to be the actual place visited by Lord Buddha. There is nothing special to be seen at that site except a boo tree and a small shrine.
Three wheel drivers who are parked near the Kovil will take you there for Rs.100/-. For another Rs.100/, they will take you to the beach of the other side where you can collect variety of sea shells at no cost.
After the temple, we visited the Kovil as well.Coming back towards Jaffna, we visited Kobbekaduwa Memorial.
Being the last few hours in Jaffna, we had to cover following locations on the run.
On way back, baggage check was done at Muhamlai.